MIAMI SHORES, Fla. -- Barry University women's tennis coach Avi Kigel revisited his former life, and his No. 3 women's tennis team handled the rest in a 7-2 win over Davidson College Sunday. The win sends the Buccaneers into their Spring Break trip to Southern California with a 9-0 record.
Kigel was an assistant coach at Davidson for four years before returning to Barry to take over as women's head coach. He served as an assistant at Barry before leaving for Davidson.
"It was great to see them after five years being away," Kigel said. "I had some great memories during the period of time I was coaching them with some good teams and good success. I have a lot of appreciation for what I learned during that time."
The Buccaneers handed Davidson its second loss in Florida as the Wildcats fell to 4-7. But it didn't come without a little resistance and fight on the NCAA Division I Wildcats' part.
Barry dropped the Nos. 1 and 5 singles matches, and was tested at No. 3 doubles. Barry's Karina Goia and Elisabeth Abanda, the nation's 13th-ranked doubles team in Division II, needed some late-match fire to lay claims to an 8-6 win over Elise Held and Sarah Stein at No. 3 pairs.
Top-ranked Linda Fritschken and Emma Onila defeated Brites Moniz-Soares and Elaina Cummer of Davidson, 8-2, at No. 1. Barry's Kimmy Twelker and Anaeve Pain were 8-1 winners over Nisha Crouser and Jenna Brunner at No. 2.
"They're fighters, and they're staying in the points all the time," Kigel said of the Wildcats. "We knew that was Davidson's style. We had a touch No. 3 doubles that we were able to put away."
Fritschken, ranked No. 31 in singles, had little problems with Cummer, winning 6-1, 6-1. Abanda, the No. 9-ranked singles player in Division II, got a test at No. 3 singles before beating Crouser, 7-5, 6-2. Blanka Szavay, Barry's freshmen from Hungary, won a tight first set 6-4 before putting away Stein, 6-1, in the second set to win the match.
"No. 3 was a close match, especially in the first set," Kigel said. "We got the breaks to win it."
Cristina Valladares picked up Barry's last singles victory at No. 6 with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Tamara Hill. But the Buccaneers dropped the final two matches to finish. Davidson's Jenna Brunner defeated Akemi Maehama, 6-2, 6-4, at No. 5. Moniz-Soares battled her way past Pain at No. 1, 7-6 (5), 7-5, in the Wildcats' other win.
"That's what we want. We want a challenge, we want good matches, so we can get better," Kigel said.
It was Barry's first win over a Division I opponent this season. For Kigel, it happened to come against his former boss.
"A lot of good stories," Kigel said. "It's always good to kind of go back and go over what you did in the past. The great thing about Davidson and the coaches is they just want good matches. I like that philosophy."